Today, a guest post on doughnuts by Gina Martin. If any of you follow Gina’s Home Joys blog, you may have read this post there at an earlier time. If so, it’s worth a re-read. Makes me laugh and cringe at the same time. Her experience is SO what would happen to me, and I know that helpless, enraged-at-my-stupidity feeling exactly. To give you a hint of what’s coming: she handles the situation with grace AND she includes her mom’s homemade doughnut recipe.
Another of Gina’s posts which I like because it has helped me personally is called “How to Get it All Done.” She’s agreed to let me publish that one as well. Check back Wednesday if you’d like to read it…and don’t we all need advice like that!? Of course, if you can’t wait until then, you can check out her blog where you will find both these posts and more.
Every year since I was a little girl, my mom and I have spent a winter day making doughnuts. As years passed, sisters, sisters-in-law, and recently a few granddaughters, joined us in Mom’s kitchen.
This year we dumped a twenty-five pound bag of flour and untold amounts of sugar into numerous batches of my mom’s potato doughnuts. We never did count the doughnuts since we started eating them as soon as the first one came out of the fryer. (Neither did we count calories.) We filled containers for each family to freeze, plus some plates of doughnuts to share with neighbors, while our children ransacked Grandma’s house with their cousins. Soup was pulled out for lunch, for anyone who still had an appetite.
Last Christmas, my mom had sewn aprons for all the women and girls of the family with directions that we bring them to Doughnut Day. Surprisingly, none of us forgot. But this day won’t otherwise be remembered as an example of my good memory.
I arrived home in the mid-afternoon with a vanload of tired children and Tupperware filled with fresh doughnuts. I handed each child an armload to carry to the house and was looking longingly at the couch when I remembered. The chicken! On the way home, I had planned to pick up a case of chicken ordered at a local butcher shop for a sweetheart supper later in the week.
What could I do but herd the children back into their car seats and backtrack to the butcher shop? Arriving, I parked the van, reached for my purse, and found it missing. A thorough search of the van—and still no purse. Then I realized the four year old, given the responsibility of carrying my diaper bag to the house, had done his duty.
Back in the van again, for another trip home. I was going to completely miss naptime. And I had no one to blame for this ridiculous afternoon but myself.
I forced myself to find a way to redeem the wasted time. I had been trying to teach the children they are responsible for the way they react to unpleasant circumstances. We now discussed our choice between frustration and acceptance. It took all my will power to choke back my complaints and instead help the children sing.
A quick stop at the house for the purse, another trip to the butcher shop (this road was becoming far too familiar), and finally we arrived. That can’t be a “closed” sign in the window! It was. I had forgotten that the butcher shop closed early on Mondays.
By now, I was ready to bang on the door and force someone to give me my chicken. Or at least timidly knock. An elderly lady came to my assistance, listened to my sob story, and graciously ushered me to the back room. There are advantages to supporting home businesses. Walmart would never have been so kind. But then, neither would Walmart close at 3:30 on a Monday afternoon!
Soon a man was loading my chicken into my van. I even had a fresh doughnut handy to express my thanks. I traveled the road home for the sixth, and thankfully final, time. If any neighbors were watching my frantic trips up and down our road, they must have wondered if I had lost my mind.
Maybe I have. Wonder where I left it?
Can a doughnut restore lost brain cells?
Mom’s Homemade Doughnuts
1 quart of milk, heated almost to boiling
2 cup mashed potatoes
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup shortening
4 T yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
4 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 T salt
8-10 cups flour
1. Mix milk, potatoes, sugar, and shortening. Cool to lukewarm.
2. Dissolve yeast in warm water with sugar.
3. After milk-potato mixture is cooled, add yeast mixture, plus 4 cups flour. Mix well.
4. Let stand for thirty minutes in warm place covered with cloth.
5. Then add eggs, salt, and as much flour as needed to handle. If dough is a bit sticky, the doughnuts will be lighter.
6. Allow dough to rise in a warm place until double in size.
7. Punch down and roll out to 1/2 inch thick. Cut with doughnut cutter.
8. Place cut doughnuts on lightly floured surface to rise until double.
9. Fry in hot fat at 350 degrees.
10. Dip in glaze while doughnuts are still warm. Drip over pan until dry. For freshest doughnuts, freeze immediately. They thaw quickly for serving.
2 lb powdered sugar
1 stick butter, very soft
3 tsp vanilla
1 cup hot water
Stir all ingredients together until well blended. Do not heat. Dip warm doughnuts into glaze. Allow to drip on a cooling rack.
Right now Gina is cuddling a newborn while reading to her other five children on the couch in front of the fireplace. But by the time springtime hits, she’ll be back to growing veggies in her garden and sourdough in her kitchen. Join her at www.homejoys.blogspot.com for a discussion on books, gardening, recipes, and the life of a busy mother.